Motorcycle Deaths Increased 7.1% from 2011 to 2012

motorcycle deaths 2012
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued its annual report on traffic fatalities today, showing that motorcyclist deaths went up from 4,630 to 4,957.

Motorcyclist injuries (non deaths) went from 81,000 to 93,000 in the same period, an increase of 15%.  It's worth noting that the injury statistics are estimates because most crashes not involving deaths go unreported.

However, the report mentioned that motorcyclist deaths in states without a universal helmet law were 1,858 as opposed to 178 deaths in states that require helmets for all riders.

On the good side, the number of alcohol-related motorcyclist deaths went down from 1,397 to 1,390.

Deaths in passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks) also increased from 21,316 to 21,667, an increase of 1.6%.  Injuries increased from 1,968,000 to 2,091,000 a difference of 6.3%.

Overall, passenger vehicles accounted for 65% of fatalities, while motorcyclists accounted for 15%.

Meanwhile, the Federal Highway Administration reported recently that the number of "Vehicle Miles Traveled" increased from 2,946 billion to 2,954 billion, an increase of 0.3%, during the same period.

Opinion:  So while there were 8 billion more miles being traveled along America's roadways, it only makes sense that the number of deaths and injuries would increase.  But when you consider that only 65% of the deaths involve passenger vehicles, state governments should leave motorcyclists alone and focus their legislative safety attempts on cars and SUVs.

Source:  2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview


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